Sales activity today appears to place far more emphasis on scrambling to get a deal with that next new client than it does on nurturing existing customers. Frankly, that puzzles me. It doesn’t matter what industry you serve, retention of your existing customer base should always be your number one priority.
When I think about a seller’s role, it is to develop and cultivate new sales opportunities while continuing to mine for new gold within existing accounts.
Depending on the size of your organization, you may have strategically decided that some of your sales people will focus on the hunting and other will focus on the nurturing. But whether you are hunting new business or selling deeper into existing accounts, you have to keep in mind that your message matters.
Lose the Pitch
One of the more egregious mistakes often made is pitching a customer with a message that clearly shows that you have no idea that they are, in fact, a customer. Last week, I received such a sales pitch from a CRM provider pitching me on a new service. For 3 years, I have been their customer, but it was clear that this sales rep didn’t know it.
Other pitches come in the form of unsolicited sales spam that are poorly written, generic and focused on the seller not the buyer. For an Oscar winning example of the worst piece of spam ever, click here and be amazed.
In various forms, thousands of sales messages are being sent to potential prospects each day. How much thought is being put into the core content of those messages? In my opinion, not much thought at all.
Blah Blah Blah
That is exactly what your prospects and probably your customers are saying to themselves as they read your pitch. It doesn’t matter if it is print, phone calls, email, LinkedIn InMails, newsletters, Tweets or Facebook posts, you have to be asking yourself – from the perspective of the prospect or customer – does your message convey that you know something about them and the troubles they face? If the goal is to increase leads and secure more sales meetings, you lose every chance of making that happen if you are not viewed as a credible resource worthy of having a buying conversation.
Time is tight and competition is fierce in most industries. Why waste effort sending out messages that land in the trash bin rather than as a meeting on the prospects calendar? The problem is that activity is being confused with sales effectiveness, which only creates a perception that what is being done will lead to sales results.
If you want the bling, you have to do away with the blah blah blah. Your customers and your prospects will thank you!